The 7 islands have festivals throughout the year and usually celebrate religious days or the end of harvest periods. Some days are dedicated to sport, some to theatre and some to music. Because of the frequent festivals throughout the year, the 12 million tourists that visit the Islands are bound to be involved in at least 1 of these!
Below, you will find some of the national festivals for the Canary Islands. If you are looking to visit the Islands to see one of these festivals, international airports such as Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle, JFK and more can see you to the Canary Islands.
Canary Island Festivals
Three King’s Day: The first festival of the year comes on the 6th January. On this day, gifts are exchanged to represent the giving of gifts from the 3 Wise men to Baby Jesus. It is very similar to the Western culture of Christmas Day however, the Spanish also get this day to celebrate with family!
San Antonio Abad: This festival celebrates the patron saint of Arona and Tenerife and includes activities such as music, dancing and parades along with traditional foods.
Carnival: Carnivals are held in the lead-up to Ash Wednesday. The Carnival period starts when the Carnival Queen is elected who reigns over the festivities for the next fortnight. The main Carnival within this period is the Santa Cruz Carnival in Tenerife.
Holy Week: Usually celebrated the week before Easter, Holy Week features religious parades and gatherings in towns throughout Spain ending with a religious procession on Good Friday.
Day of the Cross: The 3rd of May brings the Day of the Cross throughout the Canary Islands with flower crosses decorating streets in the towns. If you are in the Canary Islands at this time, you can expect to see street parties and, if you’re lucky, a spectacular fireworks display.
Día de Canarias: The 30th of May commemorates the community’s autonomy from Spain.
Corpus Christi: A major part of the religious calendar, locals create highly decorative carpets. Corpus Christi is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. It is essentially celebrating the belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Festival of Saint John: The 23rd and 24th of June mark the official beginning of summer. Featuring parties and bonfires there is also the ritual in Puerto de la Cruz of bathing goats in the sea at dawn. On the eve of this festival, huge balls of fire are rolled down the cliffs as part of the fiesta. We recommend you steer clear of these.
Virgen del Carmen: The second fortnight of July brings a festival that honours the patron saint of fisherman and includes many different events such as performances and processions.
Romeria de San Roque: The pilgrimage of San Roque takes place in Garachico, Tenerife where an image of San Roque is accompanied by an entourage of traditionally dressed followers, livestock, carts and bands. This festival also signifies the end of local fiestas in August.
Fiesta del Santisimo Cristo: This religious festival in La Laguna, Tenerife features parades, processions as well as traditional Canarian customs including a Canarian wrestling tournament!
Day of the Dead: You may have heard of this one before; on the 2nd of November, people across the region visit their dead relatives and tend to their memorials in order to honour them. It is important to be very respectful around this time if you are visiting.
Fiesta de San Andres: A traditional wine tasting festival in Tenerife takes place; on the 29th of November, there is also the Tabias de San Andres where participants slide down steep streets on boards.
Santos Inocentes: The Spanish equivalent of April Fool’s Day takes place on 28th of December to end the year with a laugh!
There are more Canary Island Festivals
These aren’t the only festivals that take place in the Canary Islands, others include Fiesta del Almendro en Flor, Romeria de San Marcos, Feria de Caballo, Romeria de San Isidro and there are more; however, we will save you the hassle of reading them all!
These festivals occur throughout the year so whatever time you visit, you are bound to come across one of these festivals. Remember to enjoy the local culture and immerse yourselves in the experience!